A source explained: "This individual is one of the most prominent and dangerous criminals operating in Dublin at the moment -- he works as a heavy for the INLA.
"Last night's shooting was meant as a warning and they did not intend to kill him. He was shot with a handgun."
The Herald has learned that this is not the first time that the Tallaght criminal has been under threat. In 2008 a pipe bomb full of nails exploded underneath his car which was parked outside his home.
Just months before that incident, the gangster was pepper sprayed and brutally assaulted during a violent incident in a south Dublin nightclub.
He was also part of a gang who were involved in a terrifying kidnapping incident in north Dublin in which a business man was abducted and threatened with being shot unless he handed over a large amount of cash. The gangster has numerous convictions and has been arrested for a variety of serious offences such as blackmail, extortion, threats to kill, assault and burglary.
He is linked to a number of very serious criminals including a bodybuilder from north Dublin who is one of the main targets of the garda Organised Crime Unit and a Traveller criminal whose girlfriend was murdered in a brutal gun attack.
Last night's shooting victim was regularly spotted in the company of terror chief Declan 'Whacker' Duffy before he was extradited to the UK to serve a sentence for murdering a British soldier.
'Whacker' Duffy and his associates were involved in a gangland war against 'Fat' Freddie Thompson's drug dealing mob in 2007 and 2008 after the INLA tried to extort cash from Freddie's crew.